Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize our own emotions and the emotions of others as well. It is the ability to use emotions to guide one’s thinking and actions in a more appropriate way. Emotions impact our attention, memory, learning, and our ability to build relationships with others. The emotional quotient is as important as the intelligence quotient for a person to become successful in life. Emotional intelligence, or EI, has the following basic components:

  1. Empathy: Empathy refers to putting ourselves in the shoes of others and being able to understand things from their point of view. It involves being sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of others and not imposing our beliefs upon them. Empathy is not limited to being nice and saying nice things; rather, it involves visualizing the situation from the other person’s perspective, showing genuine interest in them, and using empathetic statements and actions.
  2. Self-Awareness: Self-Awareness refers to knowing oneself. In regard to emotions, it involves the following aspects: how do you think, feel, and behave when you are facing any emotion? This will also help you understand how emotions affect others. Getting to know the origin of our emotions will also help us be aware of them and take control of them.
  3. Self-Management: It is the ability to use the awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positive, which helps to direct one’s behaviour to manage one’s emotional responses in all circumstances.
  4. Social Awareness: it is the ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people, understand what is going on, and understand what other people are thinking and feeling, even if you are not feeling the same way.
  5. Relationship Management: It is the ability to use awareness of your emotions and the emotions of others to manage interactions successfully, this ensures clear communication and effective handling of conflict. This is a skill that helps find common ground and build bonds.

When we teach children about the factors mentioned above at an early age, it helps them build their emotional intelligence. Through this, we give them a chance to better understand what causes those feelings in them and how to identify them as well. Through this, the child can learn suitable ways to deal with their emotions and how to establish healthy relationships with others. Children with higher emotional intelligence are better able to pay attention, are more involved in school, and are more empathic. Having a high EI makes the child feel happy, safe, secure, and peaceful.

Many children face difficulty with emotional intelligence. Some may have a high EI, while others may have a low EI. Because of this, they may not be able to regulate their emotions effectively, act out while facing any emotions, build positive relationships, or develop an insecure attachment style. It may take some time, but it is important to stay patient throughout the process and be consistent with your techniques.

A few tips and techniques to improve your child’s emotional intelligence are:

  1. When reading stories to kids, ask the kids to guess what the story’s characters are experiencing. How can you determine if a character is feeling that way, for example? Can you express that feeling with your face?
  2. Kids need to recognize how and what they are feeling. Hence, you must help the children label their own emotions. Labeling your emotions is a very important aspect of understanding what one is feeling. For example: When your child is upset because they lost a game or must share a toy, you can say, “It looks like you feel really angry right now. Is that right?”
  3. Appreciate children, specifically when they try to use emotional words to talk to the people around them. Explain to them and their nearby peers how using emotional words helps those around them know exactly how they are feeling, which is why you are so proud of them. This acts as a very important motivator.
  4. Children need to learn how to express their emotions in a socially appropriate way, The best way to teach your child how to express their feelings is by modelling appropriate skills yourself. Make it a habit to clearly convey your feelings and correctly express them so that you can be an effective role model for your child.
  5. Once children are aware of their feelings, they must be taught healthy coping mechanisms. It might be challenging for young children to learn how to relax, cheer themselves up, or face their concerns. It’s crucial to instill in them effective coping mechanisms. Taking deep breaths when angry, for instance.
  6. Take time to look back at specific situations and talk about how your child has responded. Offer helpful praise if your child reacts constructively. If you got a not-so-helpful reaction, talk about what other reactions might have been possible and help them find an ideal way to behave.